Archive for October 29th, 2021

Bacchae and Balance

"Harmonium" - GC Myers 2021

Harmonium” – At the West End Gallery

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.

–Euripides, The Bacchae

The words from the great tragedy The Bacchae from Greek playwright Euripides still ring true 2500 years after they were first uttered. The play, considered perhaps the greatest ever written, dealt with the eternal struggle between the forces of control and freedom between the gods and the masses.

Like most tragedies, it doesn’t end well. And in a most gruesome manner. Shocking, even by today’s standards where we have become somewhat inured to the outrageous.

I won’t go into those details here this morning.

Beyond that, the passage above speaks of maintaining a fine balance between the two poles of restraint and release, both as individuals and as a society. Those dwelling in the extremes, either in forms of theocratic authoritarianism or in unrestrained nihilism, are destined for an unhappy ending.

It is an unsustainable existence.

I could go on and compare it to societies here and abroad but for today I want to just point these words toward ourselves, the individuals.

A sense of harmony in ourselves and with the outer world is always the better way.

Of course, I can’t tell you how to attain or maintain it. I suppose if you wander off the trail between the two poles and find yourself in the weeds of extremism, you might not recognize harmony anyway. It might be a false harmony you’re seeing.

And if that’s the case, it might not be revealed as such until the tragedy comes to its conclusion.

I don’t know if this makes any sense at all this morning. I am most likely talking through my hat. It’s very early still and I am just thinking out loud.

But even so, maintaining a sense of harmony and balance in ourselves and in the world should always be the goal. I know it’s my goal though sometimes I stumble off the trail a bit here and there. Fortunately, I somehow find my way back to it at some point.

Or so I believe.

I mean, who really knows?

Now get off my lawn! Get!

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